As I sat through an unairconditioned layover at the stuffy Heathrow Airport after a grueling 8 hour flight, all I could think about was feeling the breeze of the French Riviera on my face. It was my second time traveling to the little town of Cannes for the biggest film festival in the world and I could not have been more excited or more anxious. The year before I had gone for just myself, a student who loved film and hoped to God that somehow I would land a job out of this festival. This year, I was coming as a young professional (a spring chicken, really) who loves my craft and hoped to God I would get some great exposure for my beloved team, DHD Films.

I met up with one of my favorite organizations, The American Pavilion, who I was attending the festival with. Affectionately titled “AmPav”, The American Pavilion is the hub of Americans in Cannes, hosting celebrities and Hollywood insiders with good food, a good view, and a good time. Every year, they accept about 200 students and recent graduates from around the globe in their internship program to experience the festival first hand. Thanks to my DHD family, I was fortunate enough to be able to return as an alumni, joining the Pavilion for the final time as a student.

The Cannes Film Festival is a week and a half of frantic, frenzied fun and business. People in the film industry come to Cannes to have a good time just as much as they do to carry out business. It’s the very definition of work hard, play hard. I had the time of my life. I watched tons of movies, had tons of amazing food, and met some amazing people. On top of all the time I spent having fun, I spent twice that time trying to absorb as much information as humanly possible. Cannes in May is the epicenter of knowledgeable and successful professionals. It would have been a shame to attend the festival and not take advantage of the learning opportunities. I waited six hours in a stuffy room to attend a masterclass with living legend Clint Eastwood, frantically ran across town to make it to see Elton John speak on the importance of recognizing young talent, and attended roundtables and panels at the American Pavilion with people like Paul Dano, Faye Dunaway, and other industry professionals. Those events are the true lifeblood of the festival. The learning opportunities that arise are just as valuable as the opportunities for fun.

Overall, I’m more than grateful to have represented DHD Films at Cannes Film Festival this year. I learned ways to grow personally through this trip, but more importantly ways to grow for DHD Films. DHD Films is a company that invests in its people, and I am so happy to be part of this team.

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